Mixing Panoramic & HDR Photography

Sometimes you just have to make lemons into lemon-aide – or at least try.

A few years ago I was in Alaska photographing bears. We moved our boat into Geographic Harbor for a few hours and of course, when we got there the weather was horrid. I made the image immediately below because I was there, not because I liked it.

There’s not much I like about it other than it provides me with a personal memory of my time in Alaska that year. But when I was shooting this location I knew this would happen. So I made several exposures and decided to combine panoramic photography and HDR photography to see if I could salvage something.

Here’s a link to a large version of the result. It’s not the best image I ever made, but it isn’t as horrible as it was when I just made one shot.

I made four shots – two exposures each – and merged them in a combination of Photoshop and Nik HDR Efex Pro. I then added some effects in onOne’s new Perfect Photo Suite. I still don’t love it but that’s not the point. The point is that thanks to technologies like panoramic stitching and HDR tone mapping – once in a while we can save a shot that otherwise wouldn’t make the grade.

About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Professional photographer. Author. Speaker.

Posted on November 14, 2011, in HDR, Panoramic and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Gosh, I kind of like the first image. I would knock off an f-stop of exposure (to bring out the texture of the clouds) and bring up the shadows to where they were originally, punch up the green a tad. Not a spectacular image but representative of our “Wet” coast.

    Living on the “Wetcoast” of Canada, I have to deal a lot with dull weather. We have fabulous colours in the wet days and in winter!!

  2. I’ve been using this technique with great success. With the amount of post processing, it brings things back to the days of film where you dont know what to expect until after the darkroom.

    Take a look:

  3. Great save! I really like the greens, reflection, and even the rain in the resulting panorama. I rather enjoy shooting panoramas in the rain or overcast weather; HDR on those days really brings out rich tones/colors.